ST. LOUIS (AP) – Playing with fire finally caught up to the Blues.
With a chance to win the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history on home ice, St. Louis got off to a quick start with five of the first six shots in Game 6 against Boston.
And then Brayden Schenn took a minor boarding penalty after smashing Joakim Nordstrom into the boards at 7:17 of the opening period. About a minute later, Ryan O'Reilly flipped the puck over the glass prompting a delay of game call, leaving St. Louis two men down.
The lack of discipline that St. Louis has used to its advantage throughout the postseason - while dodging bullets on the penalty kill - caught up to the Blues quickly this time. Boston needed just 21 seconds to convert on the 5-on-3 on a Brad Marchand one-timer to make it 1-0.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask did the rest, shutting down a number of high-quality chances by the Blues. When Rask couldn't make the save, his defense was there as Charlie McAvoy swiped a puck away that was rolling off of Rask's back.
The Blues had four power plays to the Bruins' two, but couldn't cash in on any of them even though they put 12 shots on net. St. Louis is just 1 for 18 with the man advantage through the first six games of the Stanley Cup Final, a far cry from Boston's 7 for 21.
O'Reilly finally got the Blues on the board with 7:59 left in the third, but only after Brandon Carlo and Karson Kuhlman had given the Bruins a comfortable 3-0 lead with goals earlier in the period.
St. Louis now faces a Game 7 in Boston on Wednesday.